Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Fourteen recovering addicts of the Happiness Centre, a recovery volunteer group in Phuentsholing, have been trained on energy-efficient construction, domestic electrical wiring, carpentry and plumbing skills at the College of Science and Technology (CST).

The centre organised the five-day skills development training in collaboration with Nazhoen Lamten, CST, labour ministry, and HELVETAS. The training concluded on May 20. HELVETAS funded the training.

One of the participants, Pema Dorji, 21, who took domestic electrical wiring training said he has learned so much.

“I can do wiring now,” he said, adding that he is able to do all the electrical work related to home appliances. “It was an interesting and helpful training with theory and practice together.”

Pema Dorji dropped out of Class VI in 2015 because of addiction issues. He is one of the first clients at the centre.

Another participant, Karma Wangdi, 21, who is also a recovering addict, is a Class X graduate. He chose plumbing for the training.

“I will now be able to fix all the plumbing works at home,” he said. “The five-day training was very engaging. I forgot everything. The skills I have developed will help me forever.”

Karma Wangdi said he spent about eight months at the centre.

Located on the confluence of Toorsa and Omchhu, Happiness Centre in Phuentsholing is known for its voluntary works in relapse prevention. The centre caters to all those in recovery mode. There are 17 clients at the centre today.

Country director of HELVETAS, Tashi Pem, who was at the closing at CST said the number of unemployed youths in the country today was alarming.

“It is more worrisome because we are a very small country. If we cannot give opportunities to our youths, we will fail as a society.”

Tashi Pem said that the skill development training would help the trainees find purpose and stability in life, adding that such training should be encouraged and that youths must take advantage of such opportunities.

One of the founders of the Happiness Centre, Bhupdhoj Ghalley, said that the training was the first collaboration project with HELVETAS.

“HELVETAS will also provide us with the necessary tools required for these works,” he said.

“We cannot be more grateful. This training will go on a long way in shaping the future of our boys.”